This episode will see Team USA forged in the world-famous
Octagon but things dont start well as Jason Pierce faints, much like Phillipe
Nover did in last seasons TUF 8 only this time they think it might be
because he had a difficult time cutting weight. Well I guess we should be
thankful that he made the effort to make it because once again another fighter
has dusted his chances of fighting in the UFC by missing weight.
Things dont get better, they get worse as John Shackelford
gets sent home by the doctors after discovering he has the herpes virus. Herpes
is definitely bad, what actually might be worse is yet another fighter kicked
off the show for missing weight. Yes, it is season 9 and this is still happening
- this time it is Christian Fulgium who collapses while cutting weight and
rightfully gets booted from the show. The fact that this is still happening is embarrassing
for the fighters who get booted, and for the UFC itself which seems to be
choosing the wrong people for their TV show.
On to the fights.
Mark Miller (10-4) vs. Kevin Knabjian (10-3-1)
Mark Miller and Kevin Knabjian are forced to face off to
secure a spot on the TV show and neither of them appear particularly excited
about it because they are actually training partners. Visions of Pete Williams
vs. Tsuyoshi Kohsaka are dancing in my
head but thankfully this isnt that bad of a fight.
They step into it and despite a tentative start Mark Miller
appears to be the aggressor landing the
crisper combinations and getting off first. He has the sharper stand up of the
two competitors and takes the first round 10-9 on the strength of a number of
solid combinations that dont do an enormous amount of damage - but score none-the-less.
Knabjian turns things around quickly landing a nice three
punch combination that drops his teammate to the canvas and he follows up with some
solid ground and pound. Inexplicably Knabjian gives up position to go for a
heelhook which he doesnt hit and It proves to be a costly mistake as Miller recovered
and eventually unleashed a flurry that finished his friend to secure himself a
spot in the house.
Knabjian didnt like the stoppage and brushes off Miller who
came to console him, and he goes on to punch a hole in the wall of his dressing
room where a picture of Chuck Liddell stands
Back at the Octagon Dan Henderson looks over to Dana White
and says Dana White, the wrecker of friendships.
Richie Whitson (4-0) Vs. Paul Bird (4-1)
Dan Henderson tells Dana White that Whitson is a scrappy
kid and now trains with him in Temecula,
California, but he gets taken down early in the fight even giving his back and
things looked bleak for Hendersons pupil. Paul Bird controlled the early
action but Whitson rallied to get back to his feet and pushed hard to keep his opponent at bay throwing wild
punches forcing an ill-timed takedown by Bird that was easily stuffed. Whitson
went to work from the top dominating with elbows and punches until he broke him
down and eventually secured the rear naked choke.
Waylon Lowe (5-2) vs. Santino Difranco (13-4)
Dana White explains that Santino Difranco actually made the
cast of TUF 2 but couldnt continue because they found a brain aneurysm that
forced him out of the show. Following surgery he is back, and appear s to be
the feel-good story of the show.
It probably didnt feel too good for him in the early goings
as Lowe dominated Difranco taking him to the ground and absolutely punishing
him to the point where the referee could have stopped the fight. For most of
the first round Difranco offered little defense and ate dozens of punches and
elbows to the head along the way. He got absolutely battered but the referee choose to let it go to the end
of the round and to be honest I was uncertain whether Difranco could continue, even Dana White comments he aint getting up.
For better or for worse he proves us both wrong and gets
back up, albeit slowly. Not only does he get back to the feet he quickly recovers
in between rounds, lands a big knee to the face that stuns Lowe right off the
opening bell, secures the back, and gets the rear naked choke submission to
pull off a huge come-from-behind victory. Like I said, Difranco appears to be
the feel-good story of TUF 9.
Jason Pierce vs. Steve Berger?
After fainting making weight, Piarce faces off against a man
that looks to me like Steve Berger. Unless I missed something, I didnt see his
name on the TUF 9 cast release and it is surprising to me if he is on the show
because Berger has 2 fights in the UFC under his belt already! Could it
be a another Berger? I honestly dont know. In any case, Pierce is able to win
a three-round decision victory in what appears to be a close bout, but I dont
know for sure because only a few clips
of the fight are shown.
Cameron Dollar (4-1) vs. Tom Hayden (4-0)
In another fight that is not shown in its entirety, it
appears that Hayden dominates almost the entire fight and makes a mistake late
in the fight that costs him the fight. Dollar is able to sneak out the back and
get the rear naked choke victory in a come-from-behind victory that Dana White
describes while a few clips are shown.
Demarques Johnson (13-6) vs. Ray Elbe (20-11)
Elbe comes out looking rather lethargic and Johnson appears
a little stronger firing off combinations over the fighter that now trains out
of Thailand. Elbe goes for a takedown but gets stuffed and Johnson moves right
to the mount off the sprawl. Not a transition I see a whole lot in the UFC but
I digress From there Johnson puts on an elbowing clinic that Elbe has no answer for. Elbe looks lost
on his back and gets absolutely mauled by Johnson in a lopsided fight.
The six bouts are now over and but there are two fighters
who havent fought yet because their prospective opponents were dropped from
the show before they could fight so they bring in (wait for it) Rob Browning,
Junie Brownings younger brother. I guess the UFC didnt get enough Browning
the first time around so they are going back for seconds. In the last Team USA bout Kiel Reid will fight
Frank Lesler (Spelling?) who is also brought in on short notice.
The Americans get their final two fighters and Rob Browning
appears to be a little wild like his brother getting into it immediately with
his TUF-mates. Vomiting, fighting, hooliganism, it is all back for a ninth time
on the Ultimate Fighter 9. Sounds like it could be the same.